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Hiscox gross written premiums dip slightly in first quarter


Hiscox Ltd. said that its gross written premiums fell slightly for the first quarter of 2014, to £501.6 million ($846.5 million) from £506.1 million ($854.0 million) during the same period a year earlier.

In its interim management statement Tuesday, Bronek Masojada, CEO of Hamilton, Bermuda-based Hiscox said that the reduction was caused in part by the company reducing its reinsurance writing because of falling rates.

In the statement, Hiscox said that at the April 1 renewals, reinsurance rates continued to fall in many areas.

Japanese earthquake rates fell by about 15%, Hiscox said, while “the U.S. catastrophe market, already affected by a benign period for claims, continues to overreact to the new capital with the inevitable results.”

“The market is softening, but conditions in many of our insurance lines are good,” Mr. Masojada said in the statement.

Hiscox said that the first quarter of the year had seen “a diverse list of losses, including marine liability, upstream energy and movie production claims.”

The company also has small exposure to the loss of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 and the recent loss of a Korean ferry.

In a separate statement, Hiscox Tuesday updated its estimates for its two Lloyd’s of London syndicates, 33 and 6104, for the 2012 and 2013 years.

Hiscox said that for 2012, syndicate 33 likely will report a return of between 2.5% and 12.5% of its £950 million ($1.60 billion) capacity, while for 2013, the syndicate likely will report a return of between 0% and 10.0% on its £950 million ($1.60 billion) of capacity for the year.

Syndicate 6104, Hiscox said, likely will post a return of between 20.0% and 30.0% of its £39 million ($65.8 million) capacity for 2012, and between 25.0% and 35.0% of its £66 million ($111.4 million) capacity for 2013.